The Nigerian Ambassador to Mali, His Excellency, Ken Nwachukwu paid a visit to the D’Tigress camp at about 12 noon (local time) ahead of their first group game later tonight.
Ambassador Nwachukwu said the visit before their must win Group B opener against Mozambique was a way of boosting the morale of the team and showing that the Federal Government of Nigeria cares about its citizens everywhere in the world.
The ambassador promised 100% support for the team during their stay in Mali for the Afrobasket tournament adding that he would do everything possible to make their campaign memorable.
“Your mission here is our mission, we are here for you. One of the basic problems Nigerians has when they travel is food. They always want to swallow. We will partner with you in terms of feeding and we are ready to interface with you on any issue. We are happy to see you. It’s always a thing of joy to have our people come around and to have a feel of home,” said Nwachukwu.
While wishing the team the best of luck ahead of their opening game, he promised to have another meeting with the players who were away for training before their game later in the day.
In his response, the Vice President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Babatunde Ogunade lauded the presence of some staff of the embassy at the airport to welcome and facilitate their movement.
He thanked the ambassador for taking time out to visit the team which he feels will motivate the players to go all out against their opponents.
Ogunade explained to the ambassador why he did not meet the coaching crew and the players.
“We had planned that after their practice and customary photo shoot, we would come over to your place but the organisers again changed our practise time to 11am (local time). We needed to practise at the venue and have a feel of the ground before we have a match that was why you did not meet them here (hotel).
He assured that another meeting will be rescheduled once they get the proper schedule.
In the other two Group B games played today, Senegal humiliated Guinea 105-39 points while Egypt defeated Congo DR 99-72 points. Nigeria will square off Mozambique at 10:15 pm local time tonight.